As I have previously reported, I made the jump to Windows Phone with the recent purchase of a Lumia 920 on AT&T. One of the major criticisms of the WP8 platform is, of course, the availability of Apps. Admittedly, I am not an App power user, but I still have needs, you know. But to help me track expectations, I have decided to catalog all the iPhone apps that I currently use on a weekly basis. Along side this list, I will track the similar/replacement WP8 apps. Read on for the details.
UPDATE (8/8): In the past few weeks, a number of apps were released on WP8, one of which is for my family’s main bank. This app appears to bring all the functionality of its iOS cousin including mobile check deposit. This is a major win. Thought it was not listed below, an app for the FitBit device was also released. This brings a bit more convenience to the FitBit reporting which, otherwise, is accessible on the web. Double-score. All of this goes to my point that the WP8 ecosystem is constantly evolving and improving on a day-to-day basis.
What better way to track this than with a simple table. In the first column below you will find a brief description explaining the requirement for each app, followed by the current iPhone app I use. Rounding out the table is a column containing the (hopefully) corresponding WP8 app. In this last column, I have color coded the app names based on my experience so far.
- Green indicates an app that exists and appears to offer the same or better experience as iOS.
- Orange indicates an app exists, but the functionality is buggy or doesn’t meet expectations of the iOS counterpart.
- Red indicates a missing app.
- No color indicates that app exists, but hasn’t been evaluated at this point.
And, as always, a conclusion will follow.
|Description||iPhone App||Windows Phone App?|
|Any interface to view YouTube clips, related clips and comments||YouTube||YouTube, YouTube HD|
|Access to our banking institution: Mobile Deposits, Account Balances, Transfers||Banking||[NONE]|
|Access to my two credit cards: Account Balances, Payments||Credit Cards||One Exists, One Doesn’t|
|Strong Maps App with turn-by-turn directions||Google Maps||Nokia Maps|
|Simple Facebook interface to browse feeds, update status, comment, post pictures||Native Integration, Facebook App|
|*A shared grocery app with my wife’s iPhone||Grocery IQ||[Evaluating Options, see note below]|
|Everybody’s favorite word game||Words with Friends||Words with Friends (PAID)|
|A weather app which allows favorites, shows forecasts, emergency alerts||The Weather Channel||The Weather Channel|
|Blog updating tool||WordPress||WordPress|
|I love SimCity while airborne||SimCity||[NONE]|
|A simple tool for managing and consuming podcasts||Podcasts||Native Support, XBOX Music|
|Access to films, actors, etc.||IMDB||IMDB|
|View LinkedIn profiles, messages, feeds||Native Support, LinkedIn App|
|Access to SkyDrive for upload, download, updates, organization||SkyDrive||SkyDrive|
|Delta: A necessity for any ATL-based traveler||Fly Delta||Fly Delta|
|For the occasional remote scheduling of TV programs||DirecTV||DirecTV|
|Fun Games for time-killing||Angry Birds, Tiny Wings||Angry Birds|
|Strategy games for time-killing||Civilization Revolutions, Blood & Honor, Risk||Civilization Revolutions, Risk|
|Calorie tracker with strong search capabilities||My Fitness Pal||My Fitness Pal|
|Clock app with flexible, programmable alarms||Native ‘Clock’ app||Native ‘Alarms’ app|
* = This type of app may need to be replaced with a different solution.
First off, this was a real exercise. I compiled the apps list above prior to receiving my Lumia 920 and I performed very little analysis before that. While several of the items above could be considered low hanging fruit, several of them are what I would consider fairly obscure. I would love (and expect) the WP8 platform to grow in the areas highlighted above — particularly banking and credit card apps. The biggest take-away from this exercise for me is that this is a far cry from what many WP8 critics would have you believe.